It smells

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Hearings resume at 0930 hours (9:30 am) this morning, Wednesday, 21 January 2009.  Shelley Hallett will continue her examination in chief.  Things are running behind schedule.  It may be a late day.

The transcript from yesterday is posted.

I will be out tomorrow.  Probably won’t have time to post media until I get home in the evening, but, I’ll catch up as soon as I can 🙂

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A note from David Bennett yesterday re his absence at the Weave Shed during Cosette Chafe’s testimony:

Dear Sylvia,

As always, I read your blog with interest. I read your comments about my non attendance last night.  As you may have noticed in the transcript, Mr. Lee apologized on my behalf. What was not fully conveyed, is that I couldn’t get there due to driving conditions. I monitored Ms. Chafe’s testimony on the web and had other counsel ask questions on my behalf.

Yours truly,

David Bennett

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Does anyone have any news on the recently scheduled court appearance of ex-priest Don Grecco?  He was scheduled to appear mid January.  I have heard nothing.  If anyone has heard any news could you please pass it on?

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There are umpteen things I want to address from yesterday’s testimony but time is tight.  I am really feeling the impact of these long days.  Just not enough hours in the day to do what I want to do :(. 

Just a few points:

 (1)  Another morphing

Shelly Hallett’s testimony yesterday got into the Leduc debacle.  She didn’t know what hit her there. One minute Leduc defence was hankering to get him off with howls of wilful non-disclosure by the OPP, and the next it was wilful non-disclosure by Hallett. 

The truth of the matter is that Project Truth officer Joe Dupuis’ notes were not disclosed.  In those police notes there was reference to a visit Dupuis paid to C-16’s home at which C-16’s mother told Dupuis Perry Dunlop had just called to find out how she was doing.

Pat Hall knew about that visit first hand.  As did Tim Smith.  They both knew that Dupuis had been to C-16’s home and been told that Perry had just called.  They talked to Perry about it in the summer of 1998.  As Hallett put it, “ There had been some scolding” of Perry.”

Smith and Hall may have forgotten.  And Dupuis may have forgotten that that was in his notes and his notes therefore should have been disclosed.

All understandable given the volumes of information with which they were dealing and the knowledge that there was nothing of any substance to the contact. 

But, why not just plain admit it was an oversight?  And that there was nothing wilful in not disclosing?

That’s not the way it went. 

After a little backroom skulking by and between Project Truth officers and Leduc’s dream team.  Things changed.  Dramatically.

Another morphing ….

Wilful non-disclosure by police mysteriously morphed into wilfully non-disclosure by the Crown, i.e. Hallett.

The OPP Project Truth officers got themselves off the hook.  Shelley Hallett was on.

That was the end of the Leduc trial.  The start of a nightmare for Hallett.  The end of Hallett’s career.

(2)   Colin McKinnon

I try to ponder how things might have been had Project Truth officer not struck whatever backroom deal they struck with Skurka.  I get stuck when I am left with the thoroughly conflicted Justice Colin McKinnon sitting on the bench hearing the evidence and deciding Leduc’s fate. 

McKinnon – former lawyer for (i) Claude Shaver, (ii)  Charlie and (iii)  Cornwall Police Service. 

McKinnon, who advised that Perry be charged under the Police Service Act for going to CAS.

What, I wonder, would have happened had Project Truth officers stood tall and argued it out like men?

What would McKinnon have done?

That we’ll never know.  . 

(3)  The Perry question

We heard yesterday that day one of the Leduc “trial” Skurka and his colleagues proposed that potential jurors be asked if they had contributed to a Perry Dunlop fund.

Why the Perry Dunlop question? 

And why exactly did Justice Colin McKinnon think that was a question which was apropos for potential jurors?  Who did he think Perry Dunlop was? 

Six weeks later, after he was confronted in court with a little of his conflict,  he decided to check at the police station to “refresh” his memory and presumably discovered that he had previously given legal advice regarding Perry Dunlop, McKinnon said: 

“When the name Perry Dunlop came up in this trial, it was certainly going around in my mind. It certainly rang a bell.”

Did McKinnon mean it “rang a bell” when it came up the first time?  as a question for jury selection? 

Or did he mean it “rang a bell” when it came up in the midst of the trial in relation to Perry’s benign contact with C-16’s mother?

Are we to believe that if indeed Perry’s name first rang a bell when it was raised by defence for jury selection that McKinnon didn’t ask who is this Perry Dunlop?   Or that if it didn’t ring a bell then that McKinnon for some reason didn’t see fit to ask why propose a question for potential jurors about a Perry Dunlop fund?

Or, are we to believe that if Perry’s name didn’t ring a bell with McKinnon until it came up again well into the trial that he wasn’t listening when it was raised the first time by defence as a jury question?

As for Leduc’s team putting out a Perry question for potential jurors, where did that come from?  Were they already hatching a plan to walk Leduc right over Perry’s back?  Were they concerned that if indeed it was trial by jury a jury supportive of Perry’s actions would never buy into the muck racking they had up their sleeve for Perry?

Lots to think about here.  Lots.

It smells to high heavens.  From start to finish.

(4)  York Regional Police

After Chadwick’s 01 March 2001 finding that Shelley had wilfully withheld information and granting Leduc a stay Pat Hall sent an email to Jim Stewart, Director of Crowns for the Eastern Region.  In the 03 April 2001 email Hall wrote:

“What disturbs me most is Ms. Hallett not being truthful with Skurka and Campbell on February 7th when [I think] they first asked about the Dunlop material in light of the fact that on…”

That became grounds for Murray Segal to call in York Regional Police to conduct a criminal investigation.

(5)  Knuckle wrapping

Hallet had her knuckles wrapped a wee for speaking to the media. 

After much bad publicity she had been anxious to let people know that the Leduc stay was going to appeal.  She spoke to a reporter with the Toronto Globe and Mail.  The  following are quotes from an  05 April 2001 Globe and Mail article “Crown Counsel cries foul in stay of sex-assault charges’:

“The prosecutor in the case, Shelley Hallett, said yesterday that the proceeding she found herself caught up in was a legal travesty where her professional conduct was maligned and her right to properly defend herself was derailed.”

“I became the accused person. This was certainly the first allegation of unethical behaviour I’ve ever faced…It’s a professional death sentence and it was arrived at on the flimsiest of evidence and under extremely unfair procedures. It was certainly very unfair, to say the least.”

(6)  Pat Hall

The whole Pat Hall business is sickening.  I tried to do a recap starting with Hallett testifying that when Steve Seguin, on advice of Pat Hall, gave her a copy of her own memo 04 July 2000 memo to Joe Dupuis, he, Seguin said: “Pat likes you but he’s a ‘cover your ass’ kind of guy”.  I realized it’s not any easy recap.  I will have to spend more time than I have right now to get dates and all in order. But, it’s sickening. 

I can not believe that, after putting sticking the stiletto in one side of Hallett and out the other, and triggering an investigation by York Regional Police after his implication that she lied to Leduc’s defence team, Pat Hall actually told Peel police that he didn’t think Hallet would wilfully withhold information!

That’s what we heard today.  According to the police report:

“All persons interviewed in regards to this investigation, including Detective Inspector Patrick Hall, are of the opinion that Crown Attorney Shelley Hallett would not intentionally withhold information to defence.”

Why then did Pat Hall lead Skurka et al to believe Shelley Hallett wilfully withheld evidence?

(6)  Quid pro quo

Hallett testified that a point in time she recognized what was happening at the Leduc trial:

it was clear to me that the police in this case had been colluding — were colluding with the Defence to set the Crown up for the fall on the stay application, that in fact there had been some agreement somehow that in return for some quid pro quo, they were not going to be the target any longer of the Defence application and I was.

What was the quid pro quo?  I’ve been trying to think that one through.  It doesn’t look good.  What I can see is the police get themselves off the hook and, for Skurka, that means Leduc gets off the hook.

How could Pat Hall and whoever was involved in those backroom deals not know that in setting up Hallett as the fall guy they were giving Skurka his stay argument on a silver platter? 

That’s the only quid pro quo I can see right now.  The police save their hides.  Hallett loses hers.  Leduc saves his.

Are there other options?  Help me think it through.  I can’t get beyond that one.

(7)  Not cheap

Legal dream teams don’t come cheap. Justice Chadwick ordered that Leduc be awarded costs of $351,000.  $351,000!!!!

My recollection is that that was overturned on appeal.

(8) Double whammy

Hallett described Justice Chadwick’s finding of wilful non-disclosure followed by the June 2001 York police investigation as “a double whammy.”

She was cleared on both.

(9) Law Society of Upper Canada

Hallett was also contacted by the Law Society of Upper Canada and advised it was opening a file and monitoring the situation.  He was told there could be a further investigation.

That would make it a triple whammy.

(10)  The secret moniker list

Look at this.  Hallett had been shown the moniker binder listing the names and monikers.  She asked if she could keep it so she wouldn’t mix them up.  Glaude said no.  Then Engelmann said he had a list with just the Leduc and Father Charlie related monikers.  Then and only then did Glaude say he had no problem with Hallett seeing the full list, but if it could be done as suggested by Engelmann that would be fine:

MS. HALLETT:  Is it possible to keep that in front of me?

THE COMMISSIONER: Yes. No, no —

MS. HALLETT: The three of them? I’m just afraid with — when we get into three, I’m going to mix the numbers up, sir.

THE COMMISSIONER: Just a minute.

MR. ENGELMANN: I have a sheet that is — has the monikers that deal with Ms. Hallett on it.

THE COMMISSIONER: Oh, perfect.

MR. ENGELMANN: Is that okay if I give that to her?

THE COMMISSIONER: Yes, yes.

MR. ENGELMANN: We can show it to counsel if anybody wants to look at it, but it just — it has the monikers for the Leduc matter and the Father Charles MacDonald matter. Or maybe I could just hand it out.

THE COMMISSIONER: Certainly.

The reason why we seem to be cloaking this in secrecy is that a lot of the witnesses are not court officers or officers of the court — you are. So I don’t see any problem in Ms. Hallett seeing all of them, but if we can do it that way, that’ll be fine

(11)  C-16’s mother

I do wish C-16’s mother were alive to hear all of this.  It may have given her a little solace.  The poor soul was broken hearted by the way things went..  Broken hearted.  May she rest in peace.

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Must tuck in for the night

Enough for now

Sylvia
([email protected])

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